In a surprise move, Serena Williams will play an exo match at next week’s Abu Dhabi event. In her first match since winning the Australian Open last January, Serena will meet French winner Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday, December 30 at 5pm local time. Her participation signals her intent to play in Australia after the recent birth of her first child.
“I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September,” Serena said. ‘The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season and I am excited and honoured to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event. I look forward to seeing the fans in Abu Dhabi at the 10th Edition of the Championship very soon.”
The news comes just a day after Rafael Nadal withdrew due to knee issues, perhaps freeing up some extra money to bring in Serena.
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